If you’re reading this, that means you’re currently adjusting to a one-hour change in your local clock time. While more time in your day sounds great (we could all use it!), it also means maintaining your routines and a new sleep schedule. During the first week after daylight savings, many people actually experience sleep loss, irritability, and daytime fatigue.
It’s important to maintain a sleep schedule for your loved one with special needs as it ensures their routine continues to run smoothly. If their sleep schedule is off, it can affect their whole day or even week. Here are tips to make the transition to a new sleep schedule easier for your loved one with special needs.
Don’t sleep in. Take a nap instead!
- After daylight savings, you or your loved one may want to sleep in an extra hour. Try to avoid this and instead wake up at your normal time. If you feel tired, take a nap in the afternoon.
Maintain a normal sleep schedule.
- Try to stay on the same sleep schedule after daylight savings. Your body may naturally want to go to sleep earlier or sleep in later, but sticking to a schedule will make the adjustment easier for you or your loved one with special needs.
- Make time to exercise or do something active during the day. This will help you or your loved one wear off some energy, fall asleep faster and improve the quality of sleep. According to John Hopkins Medicine, people who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise may see a difference in sleep quality that same night.
- Especially during the time your loved one is adjusting their sleeping habits, avoid stimulating drinks. Caffeine can keep them up at night and make it difficult to fall asleep at their normal bedtime.
Maintaining a routine for an individual with disabilities can be challenging after daylight savings. Hopefully with these tips, the transition will be a little smoother. Sweet dreams!